Saturday, June 28, 2008
Good luck Anamette and Nikki...you'll both be fantastic mothers!!!
A fabulous night spent with good friends like Cecilia and Gustavo.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Last year Absolut Ice Bar opened in Copenhagen. There are a few of these bars around the world and I'd been wanting to try it out - my parents were game, so off we were. First you get decked out in insulated parkas, gloves, and boots. Then they lead you into the bar which is entirely made of ice from somewhere in Sweden, north of the Arctic Circle. And when I say everything I mean everything....bar, glasses, chairs, tables, walls, etc.
Nikki's mom was also in town (all the way from Sydney), so we all headed to Klubben one night for A LOT of authentic Danish food and many laughs. Grant subjected Bob to the Danish tradition of Gammel Dansk, which literally means old Danish and is bitters/schnaps which is quite pungent.
There is a Scandinavian shop in the town my parent's live in and the owner instructed them to have a hot dog from one of the many stands around town...so we headed to one in Kongens Nytorv, the King's Square.
Nyhavn and a Canal Tour
After making our way around Copenhagen, we rented a car and headed south for a few days to Møns Klint...the white cliffs of Denmark. The small towns we passed through along the was were cute and quaint, the cliffs were breathtaking, and the forests were gorgeous.
There is a tradition in Denmark where if you turn 30 and are not married, they put a huge peppermill outside of your house. We passed by one such celebration on my 29th birthday, so I hopped out and we took a picture.
Had a great time with you Mom and Dad...you're welcome back anytime!!!
My mom's family is from the Czech Republic - her grandfather and grandmother grew up in small towns in the Czech countryside and came to the US when they were young adults. We got up early and headed to the train station for the first train headed east. vWe had to change trains in a town called Pardubice. Unfortuntely our first train was late so we missed the connection and were stuck in Pardubice for 2 hours. We hit the streets...and shops. I was looking for shoes, but didn't find anything. The city, shops, and people were a little "behind the times" and I felt like I had been transported back to the early 80s.
Finally it was time for our train. There were 2 trains leaving from the same track at the same time. I doublechecked to make sure we were on the right one...or so I thought! After a few stops I noticed that we were going in the wrong direction...oops! So we got off and then my mom thought she saw a train headed back to Pardubice about to leave so we ran to get on. This was also the wrong train! Good thing we had all day and no agenda...plus it was a gorgeous day and the Czech countryside was gorgeous.
The second time we got off the wrong train we found ourselves in an incredibly small town where almost no one spoke English. Too bad my mom didn't try and learn Czech from her grandmother when she was growing up! After much hand gesturing I was able to find out that it would be another few hours before a train went through, so we got a cab, something we should have done in the first place!
We finally made it to Hlisnko and had a great lunch in the town square!!!
Not too much was open in the town...which was strange for a Saturday afternoon. But we found the exhibit on old houses, which were probably similar to the ones our ancestors lived in. We walked around and got a flavor for the town before heading back to Prague.
I haven't spent Mother's Day with my mom in a lot of years...how special to be able to spend it with her in Prague!
I decided to stay 4 days in Hong Kong with my friend Monica. She was attending the meeting also and we headed back to Hong Kong together via the train that runs between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Over 150,000 people cross the border every DAY! Crazy! First you go through Chinese immigration, then you walk across the Shenzhen River which means you are crossing from mainland China to Hong Kong, and then go through Hong Kong immigration. Finally you get on the train and about 30min later you are in downtown Hong Kong.
Monica and her husband Rich live (or should I say lived, they just moved to a new apartment last week) in an apartment on Hong Kong island with a fantastic balcony that overlooks the ocean. I tegged along and went into work with them on Thursday and Friday at theMaersk office which is in Kowloon which is a penninsula that is part of mainland China across from Hong Kong island. Each night we went out to explore different parts of the city...
Hong Kong Airport does a really cool (and quite efficient I might add) service where they have a couple different train stations on Hong Kong Island where you can fully check in up to 24hr before your flight - super convienent for tourists as many of the flights leave late at night. It looks just like an airport terminal and their are airport employees who check your bags and give you your bording passes. Then you just hop on the train and head to your gate once you get to the airport. And with that is was back to Denmark after a great week in China and Hong Kong!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
On day one we walked all over Rome....Villa Borghese, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain (where we of course tossed coins), and plenty of beautiful piazzas and churches
Day two we headed to the Vatican and took a tour of the museums and Sistine Chapel. Sadly no pictures allowed in the Sistine Chapel...it was breathtaking.
Though no pictures were allowed in the Sistine Chapel, there were some pretty amazing other ceilings in the museums.
Remember how I said we chose Rome partly because we were hoping to get away from the rain...well, all of Europe was under rain clouds for most of Easter weekend so we spent a lot of time under umbrellas, wading through puddles, and.....
.....enjoying the great food and coffee : )